Allied Bakeries announced it was to invest £12m in its Kingsmill brand over the year, including a relaunch of the Kingsmill Gold range in new packaging. A second tranche of adverts in its ‘The King’ advertising campaign was started.

Associated British Foods said lower than average pricing and volumes had hit its British Bakeries business as it posted annual results for the year to September 17. But Kingsmill branded volumes were good and the imminent relaunch of Kingsmill Gold gave it confidence for the future. Its AB Mauri yeast business was hit by higher molasses, energy and distribution costs. Operating profits across the group were up 13% to £487m.

Warburtons announced it was investing £10m to refurbish its Newport bakery, bought from New Rathbones before it went into administration. The bakery was expected to be in production by July 2006, baking 125,000 loaves a day.

Retail baker Greggs said it had been hit by lower footfall on the high street as it put out an autumn trading update. Profits for the half year were below budget and below last year’s results, it said. But a good first half-year performance would mean Greggs would make a modest progress over the financial year.

National Association of Master Bakers chief executive David Smith was quizzed alongside Tesco and government ministers in a hearing of the All Party Small Shops Group inquiry into the future of the high street. Witnesses gave their views on how the high street would develop by 2015.

An Australian investor, Ian Allen, bought Harvestime (2005), with all debts to suppliers placed on hold. Shortly afterwards, administrators Begbies Traynor were called in. They closed the company’s Leicester and Peterborough sites, making around 400 staff redundant. The company had been losing £250,000 a week, administrator John Kelly told

British Baker.

Craft bakery chain Chatwins of Nantwich picked up the overall winner’s trophy at the British Richemont Club’s 2005 competition in Nantwich. The company, which hosted the competition, came top in five of 14 categories.

The Food Standards Agency said it favoured a multiple traffic light label as it launched a new 12-week consultation on front-of-pack labelling. The symbol would show fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt levels.

Cleary Foods bought Sweetmans’ Select Savouries wholesale business after it went into administration, renaming it Celtic Savouries. MD Paul Cleary said he wanted to build a leading Welsh brand.

Scottish supplier Aulds restarted production at a new £2m temporary frozen foods facility, after fire destroyed its original site. The 25,000sq ft factory will be in place for two years, during which time Aulds will build a permanent site.

Finsbury Food Group went on a £100m spending spree in Scotland, buying two cake businesses from Enterprise Foods and one from United Central Bakeries.

Speaking at a British Baker conference, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said he aimed to get bread into the baskets of all 15m shoppers who bought food at its 480 supermarkets. Bakery delivers 4% of Sainsbury’s sales, worth £352m. Just under half of its sales come from in-store bakeries.